Space Mountain: Trust for the Journey

By Randy Crane

Space Mountain, a thrilling, imaginary journey though outer space, is not for the skittish. After the second lift you are in almost complete darkness for the rest of the ride until coming back into the station. Especially for those who don’t ride often, this is an almost completely unpredictable ride. How can we apply Space Mountain to our own lives? Continue after the page break and I’ll tell you all about it…

As Christians—even just as humans—we can’t always see where the future will take us. In fact, it’s usually at the most significant times that we can least see what is coming next and how it will affect us. But as Christians, we have an advantage. We know the One who designed the journey.

David says in Psalm 139:16, “Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you. The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”

As Christian author Max Lucado says, when we look to the future and see where our lives are now, we can say to God, “I don’t know where I am. I don’t know how I’ll get home. But you do and that’s enough.” That’s not to say that we don’t make free choices throughout our lives, but time poses no challenges for God. He exists outside of time and already knows what we think of as “the future.” Because of that, He has prepared the journey (though it’s up to us to choose to take it)––one we could not have predicted or designed for ourselves, yet nonetheless amazing.

Once on Space Mountain, you are in the hands of the Imagineers who designed the ride to take you on a journey you could not take on your own. Sometimes that’s not easy to do. I used to fear roller coasters. I’m still not a big fan of the steel behemoths that stand 200 feet tall, suspend you from the track, and have six loops, a flat spin, and an inline rollover. But I can at least ride California Screamin’. That coaster is only 120 feet tall, you sit in a seat, and it does only one loop. And the zero-to-55-mph-in-no-time-at-all launch is fun!

But it wasn’t all that long ago that I would not have gone anywhere near this breathtaking ride, let alone to Space Mountain itself.

Back in the mid-1990s, my friend Andy and I would go to Disneyland together all the time. At that time, the most I could handle was Thunder Mountain––and I even got nervous standing in line waiting for that one! Andy wanted to go on all the rides but he waited patiently.

Apparently, we opted for “exposure therapy,” because he and I rode Thunder Mountain almost every time we went to the park. Over time—about a year, actually—I was willing to try the Matterhorn. It took getting in line and chickening out two or three times before I finally rode that one the first time, but eventually I did. And it took another year or so before I was finally willing to try Space Mountain. Now I love them all, though, I have to admit I still get a bit nervous in line at times.

I was able to overcome my fear and enjoy the rides because I knew Andy would not take me on something that was going to hurt me. And I knew the Imagineers were experts who knew exactly what they were doing. They would not build a ride that they knew would endanger riders.

Sometimes the ride is scary. Sometimes it’s exciting. But, when faced with uncertainty, we put ourselves into the hands of people who know exactly what they’re doing. Of course, there’s more than one “track” to the roller coaster of our lives, but God knows exactly what He’s doing. He has seen, knows, and will guide the whole journey, and He’s working all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

Sometimes the Christian life is scary. Sometimes it’s exciting. Sometimes it’s unpredictable. Sometimes the journey’s difficulty and our weakness and fear in the face of it is almost overwhelming. Our troubles can seem all-consuming, and our minds imagine the worst things possible.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)

And so we can trust God, and “enjoy the ride.”

Me in the back right taking a quick nap on Space Mountain

Takeaway: What overwhelming, frightening, or uncertain circumstance in your life today do you need to trust God with?

*****
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Randy Crane is a highly-regarded speaker and author, presenting engaging and thought-provoking messages on a variety of topics. He has a natural rapport and connection with audiences that makes them relate well to him, engage in his presentations, and come away with a fresh understanding of the subject at hand. Randy is also the host of the “Stories of the Magic” unofficial Disney podcast, where he interviews people from throughout the Disney company, from front-line Cast Members to Legends. Randy grew up in the church, but—like many others—wandered away from the faith for a time in high school. Now, he is an ordained minister, with both a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministry (emphasis in Preaching) and a Master’s degree in Congregational Leadership from Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. He has been preaching and teaching since 1998, and has been a drummer/percussionist on church worship teams since 1992. He married his wonderful wife Faye in November of 2000 and they are expecting their first child in April of 2015. Randy is the author of two books, Once Upon YOUR Time and Faith and the Magic Kingdom.

You can find all of Randy’s articles here.

 
 
 


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Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride: Counting the Cost

By Randy Crane

J. Thaddeus Toad (Esq.) is “merrily on his way to nowhere in particular,” but in the process he gets himself in trouble. We can often relate. Let’s take a look at what makes this attraction unique, what gets Toad in trouble, and how it relates to our own lives in today’s new article…

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride holds some interesting distinctions.

• It is an Opening Day attraction.
• It has a scene that doesn’t appear (or is even hinted at) in its source material.
• It is the only true “ride” at Disneyland. All of Disneyland’s rides, shows, parades, etc. are known as “attractions,” so when you’re looking for rides, “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” is the only such one.

As with the rest of Fantasyland’s dark rides, Mr. Toad was based on an animated feature, in this case, “The Wind in the Willows” segment of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. (Ichabod Crane gets his story represented in Liberty Square and the Halloween parade in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World). Released in 1949, it was the last of the “package films”—animated features consisting of two or more shorter “featurettes” but released as a single movie.

In it, Basil Rathbone narrates the story of J. Thaddeus Toad, Esq. (“Mr. Toad”), the happy-go-lucky, wealthy owner of Toad Hall. Mr. Toad believed in fun, adventure, and traveling to “Nowhere in Particular.” He had a fascination with fads and manias, and chased one after the other. Of course, that landed him in trouble.
I won’t spoil the rest of the story for you. For now, let’s focus on that initial description of Mr. Toad.

“Toad was the one disturbing element. Incurable adventurer, mad, reckless, tried everything. A positive mania for fads, and he never counted the cost,” says the narrator in his opening description. “He never counted the cost.” Interesting phrase. Luke 14 recounts Jesus telling two parables with the same idea.

Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:25–33)

There is a cost to being a disciple, and anyone who tells you differently is selling something.

This passage is not easy to fully grasp, and digging in to examine every detail and getting a full understanding of this passage is not our purpose here. Even without that, there are some clear truths. There is a cost to following Jesus, and that cost could be everything we value.

But how valuable is what we may have to surrender? How valuable is our:

• status
• position
• relationships
• wealth
• security
• good deeds (that come from ourselves)?

It’s easy to look at that list and balk. I’ll be honest; I do. We don’t want to give up those things. We wonder how a good God could even ask us to give them up. But I think that kind of thinking may have to do with how little we truly know and understand Christ. As long as we have those valuables, we can keep Him at a “safe” distance. It’s only when we lose them and have nothing or nobody to turn to but Him that we understand. The apostle Paul certainly did.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. (Philippians 3:7–9)

(By the way, the word “rubbish” is a bit of a euphemism. It’s much stronger than that—closer to “refuse” or “dung,” and…in the vernacular, well, you know.) Paul was in a prison cell when he wrote that, with the full knowledge that he was probably going to be executed. He really had lost everything. But losing everything was nothing compared with knowing Jesus Christ.

Mr. Toad never counted the cost, and he barreled recklessly through life. On a surface level, he had fun (most of the time––prison wasn’t so fun for him), but how much did he miss out on? What did he sacrifice?

When you first become a Christian, you won’t know everything. All you know is that you will be called to surrender, and that God is good. You may have no concept of what you may have to give up, but you also have no real grasp of how much you will gain––until you gain it!

Takeaway: Have you been called to give up something (physical or otherwise) as you have followed Jesus? Was it worth it?

 

 
******
 
 
 
 
 


Randy Crane is a highly-regarded speaker and author, presenting engaging and thought-provoking messages on a variety of topics. He has a natural rapport and connection with audiences that makes them relate well to him, engage in his presentations, and come away with a fresh understanding of the subject at hand. Randy is also the host of the “Stories of the Magic” unofficial Disney podcast, where he interviews people from throughout the Disney company, from front-line Cast Members to Legends. Randy grew up in the church, but—like many others—wandered away from the faith for a time in high school. Now, he is an ordained minister, with both a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministry (emphasis in Preaching) and a Master’s degree in Congregational Leadership from Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. He has been preaching and teaching since 1998, and has been a drummer/percussionist on church worship teams since 1992. He married his wonderful wife Faye in November of 2000 and they are expecting their first child in April of 2015. Randy is the author of two books, Once Upon YOUR Time and Faith and the Magic Kingdom.

You can find all of Randy’s articles here.

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Big Thunder Ranch Petting Zoo: On Being Sheep

By Randy Crane

Kids love petting sheep and goats. Who am I kidding? A lot of adults do too, and this is a great location to do exactly that. Sheep seem cute and cuddly, but have you ever really looked at one? We’ll do just that, especially since we’re called “sheep” sometimes, as well. It might be helpful to know what being a sheep means, wouldn’t you say? Let’s take a closer look at Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch Petting Zoo and relate it to our lives in today’s new article…

The Big Thunder Ranch Petting Zoo is tucked away along Big Thunder Trail in Frontierland, the path between Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Fantasyland. Formerly part of the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland (as far back as 1960), when that attraction was closed in 1977 this patch of land sat unused for nearly a decade. Big Thunder Ranch, including the petting zoo, opened in 1986.

Inspired by the western ranches of the 1880s, Big Thunder Ranch features a small wooden ranch house and petting barnyard where young cowpokes can meet and pet barnyard animals, such as cows, goats, sheep, donkeys, and pigs. From time to time, the ranch has even served as home to the Thanksgiving turkeys that used to be pardoned by the president of the United States.

When I think of petting zoos, and this one in particular, I think of sheep. Sure, there are other animals, but mainly sheep. The obvious connection here? Christians are called the sheep of God’s pasture, and Jesus the Good Shepherd. For now, I want to focus on us, the sheep.

Yet for Your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. (Psalm 44:22)

But He brought His people out like a flock;
He led them like sheep through the desert. (Psalm 78:52)

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on Him
the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)

My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:27)

When we imagine sheep, we might imagine cute, fluffy, and gentle creatures. We may think of Jesus holding a little lamb in His arms. People who have spent a great deal of time around sheep will tell you a different story, though. Sheep are:

• Foolish
• Slow learners
• Stubborn
• Unattractive
• Totally dependent
• Straying
• Single-minded
• Skittish or fearful
• Restless

And believers in Christ are called sheep. Not a very flattering picture, is it? If we’re honest with ourselves, though, these characteristics are true, especially when we compare ourselves not to other sheep, but to the Shepherd.

We wander off at the least provocation. We’re fearful. We’re slow to learn the lessons God tries to teach us. We are totally dependent on God (though some may not want to admit it). We’re stubborn beyond reason. And we are restless. When hungry, afraid, not at peace with each other, or bothered by insects, sheep will not rest. Are we any different?

But sheep have one other characteristic: they are valuable to people. People use sheep for wool, milk, and meat. Their horns were (and in some cases, still are) used to make musical instruments or to hold oil. And under Jewish law, they were used for sacrifices.

Their value is not recognized by other sheep (as far as I know). Their intrinsic worth doesn’t come from how good they are at being sheep, or whether they obey the shepherd. Rather, their value emanates from the shepherd who cares for them.

That’s you and me. You may not be all that pleasing or appealing when you look at yourself, or compare yourself to others—but you are valuable to God. He made you. He loves you.

So when you visit the petting zoo, look more closely at the sheep. Then remember that you are one of God’s sheep, and that He knows you, has compassion on you, and considers you valuable.

Takeaway: Which of the above “sheep characteristics” do you most identify with? What changes when you remember your intrinsic value?

*******
 
 
 
 
 
Randy Crane is a highly-regarded speaker and author, presenting engaging and thought-provoking messages on a variety of topics. He has a natural rapport and connection with audiences that makes them relate well to him, engage in his presentations, and come away with a fresh understanding of the subject at hand. Randy is also the host of the “Stories of the Magic” unofficial Disney podcast, where he interviews people from throughout the Disney company, from front-line Cast Members to Legends. Randy grew up in the church, but—like many others—wandered away from the faith for a time in high school. Now, he is an ordained minister, with both a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministry (emphasis in Preaching) and a Master’s degree in Congregational Leadership from Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. He has been preaching and teaching since 1998, and has been a drummer/percussionist on church worship teams since 1992. He married his wonderful wife Faye in November of 2000 and they are expecting their first child in April of 2015. Randy is the author of two books, Once Upon YOUR Time and Faith and the Magic Kingdom.

You can find all of Randy’s articles here.

 
 



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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men (Used to) Tell Tales

By Randy Crane

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the truly great Disney attractions, but did you know it’s also a time-travel attraction? As Guests go back in time to experience the plundering pirates, we ride through an object lesson on the dangers of unrestrained indulgence. After the break, dead men will tell tales…

On July 24, 1966, New Orleans Square became the first new “land” added to Disneyland since the park opening, though Imagineers had been working on concepts for it since 1957. The first attraction to open in the new land was Pirates of the Caribbean.

Pirates of the Caribbean opened on March 18, 1967, and was the most advanced, elaborately themed attraction that had ever been built. Over sixty Audio Animatronic human characters, around fifty Audio Animatronic animals, and rich details made this sixteen-minute attraction an instant and perpetual favorite.

It’s also the last attraction that Walt Disney personally supervised. New Orleans Square opened about five months before he died, and Pirates opened about three months after. Major work was completed by the time he passed away on December 15, 1966, ten days after his sixty-fifth birthday.

“X” Atencio

Pirates of the Caribbean has undergone two major changes over the years. In 1997, the ride was closed for about two months for an update that included modifying a scene where pirates were chasing women so that they would be shown chasing food instead. The dialog of one of the only pirates who speaks in this scene (sometimes unofficially known as the “Pooped Pirate”) was also changed to conform to the new scene. This update led to what show writer “X” Atencio referred to as “Boy Scouts of the Caribbean.”

In 2006, Captain Jack Sparrow and others from the Pirates of the Caribbean films (which were inspired by the attraction) were added. The storyline was also changed significantly at that time, but it seems few are aware of the magnitude of the change. Originally the story portrayed random pirates looting and pillaging a town, but now the pirates were searching for Jack Sparrow. Most importantly (to me, anyway), the last scene was completely overhauled.

Let me back up for a moment.

As the ride begins, passengers are warned that “dead men tell no tales,” and then we plunge down two waterfalls into a grotto that shows the skeletons of pirates––some mid-battle, one piloting a shipwreck, and a couple having a drink (or trying to—it’s tough with no insides). We float through the Captain’s Quarters, where we see the captain—as a skeleton—admiring the treasure piled up around him. We again hear a disembodied warning that “These be the last friendly words you’ll hear. You may not survive to pass this way again.”

And with that, we pass through fog and into a battle between the pirates and occupants of a fort. Suddenly everyone is alive and shooting, or drinking, or chasing, or burning, or whatever. After passing through all of the town scenes and a final shootout, we arrive at the hill that takes us back to the dock, and it is here that the most significant story change has occurred.

Originally, and up until the addition of the movie characters, the final scenes consisted of two pirates trying to drag a huge haul of treasure up the hill, escaping from the city with their riches. A short distance farther up the hill we would see the pirates, now as skeletons and with one attacking the other, but still clutching the treasure chest as the ghostly voice again echoes, “Dead men tell no tales.”

Now, however, in that same space, Jack Sparrow lounges in a room full of treasure and gloats about his success.

Think about what the story was, because it is there that we find our lesson. We began the boat ride at the end of the story, with pirates as skeletons, not learning from the dangers of their ways: that their path would end in death. This theme lasts all the way up to the dark grotto after the Captain’s Quarters, but when we pass through the fog we, in effect, step back in time to see the pirates as they were. We travel through and see them doing what they do, and it kind of looks like fun. They sure seem to be having a good time, anyway. But as we begin to climb the hill, we literally and figuratively head back to where we started, and we are reminded of the perils of being “rascals, scoundrels, and ne’er-do-well cads” (as the song says).

Dead men have, indeed, told tales. Is there a Christian parallel?

The apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The wages of sin here (at Pirates) were, indeed, death. We may think it’s different for us, but while it may not be as obvious, the end result is still the same.

Do you see how dramatically the storyline has changed?

The lesson in the attraction has spelled itself out for us (though subtly enough that most people completely miss it). But did you know it goes even farther than that? You may have heard of the “Seven Deadly Sins.” It is not a biblical concept, really (though Proverbs 6:16–19 serves as a basis for the idea), but it does have roots as far back as the mid-fourth century. All seven of these “deadly sins” were illustrated in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, and many still are. Take a look:

Pride: Most everything the pirates do is rooted in pride in one form or another. A couple of townspeople provide examples, too: “the redhead” (who looks pretty full of herself) and Carlos, who refuses to give up the location of the treasure, but seems to be defiant (at least in part) to impress his wife.

Envy: The pirates try to get the location of the treasure out of the mayor. They want what he has. (This can also fall under greed.)

Gluttony: The pirates chase the food. Before the attraction’s overhaul, and even now, there are many scenes of pirates loaded up with food and/or alcohol.

Lust: The auction scene shows women being offered as brides for sale. Also, before food was added to a woman’s hands, pirates were lustfully reaching for women. (The Pooped Pirate was lust at its most obvious.)

Anger/Rage: All of the fighting scenes demonstrate this sin, especially the battle between the ship and the fort.

Greed/Avarice: The Captain’s Quarters and the two pirates stealing the chest at the end are probably the best examples of this vice.

Sloth: At least two pirates on the right side of the boat just lounge around (one with a couple of pigs interested in him, the other trying to entice a couple of cats).

You may have thought of other examples as you trekked through this sin-laden fictional place. With the addition of characters from the movies, some of these vices are no longer obvious, but without much trouble you can probably find new examples to replace the ones that have been removed.

While the attraction reflects more of a movie tie-in now, Pirates of the Caribbean used to have its own story. Many remnants of that story can still be seen today. It’s a fun ride, but it’s also a reminder. Our actions have consequences, and whether we want to admit it or not, sin, no matter how much fun it may seem at the time, does lead to death.

 
 
 
Takeaway: What “seemed like fun at the time” to you, but after spiritual reflection you’ve since realized was destructive in your life?
 
 
 
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Randy Crane is a highly-regarded speaker and author, presenting engaging and thought-provoking messages on a variety of topics. He has a natural rapport and connection with audiences that makes them relate well to him, engage in his presentations, and come away with a fresh understanding of the subject at hand. Randy is also the host of the “Stories of the Magic” unofficial Disney podcast, where he interviews people from throughout the Disney company, from front-line Cast Members to Legends. Randy grew up in the church, but—like many others—wandered away from the faith for a time in high school. Now, he is an ordained minister, with both a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministry (emphasis in Preaching) and a Master’s degree in Congregational Leadership from Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. He has been preaching and teaching since 1998, and has been a drummer/percussionist on church worship teams since 1992. He married his wonderful wife Faye in November of 2000 and they are expecting their first child in April of 2015. Randy is the author of two books, Once Upon YOUR Time and Faith and the Magic Kingdom.
 
 
 
 
 




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Main Street Cinema: Getting Past the Noise

By Randy Crane

The Main Street Cinema is a quaint little attraction on Main Street U.S.A., and a nice place to get out of the sun (or rain) for a while. It’s also a great reminder of the power of focus—and how important that is. What little detail have you possibly missed that teaches this? Continue after the page break for more…

One of the “hidden in plain sight” gems of Main Street U.S.A. is the Main Street Cinema. An Opening Day attraction, the Main Street Cinema shows (in black and white) six animated shorts from the early years of Mickey and the Gang while a recorded musical accompaniment plays.

As of this writing, the six shorts playing are:

● Mickey’s Polo Team
● Traffic Troubles
● The Dognapper
● The Moose Hunt
● Steamboat Willie
● Plane Crazy

This theatre is a great place to get out of the sun (or rain) and enjoy some classic cartoons. It also contains something that most people aren’t aware of, and it’s here we find our lesson.

Of the six cartoon shorts playing, only one plays its own soundtrack. All the rest have musical accompaniment playing throughout the room as their only soundtrack. The one that plays its own? Steamboat Willie.

What makes this factoid interesting and significant is that you must pay close attention to even notice it. The music playing in the room is good, and it fits the Cinema, but it’s relatively loud. The soundtrack for Steamboat Willie, by comparison, is quiet. You have to be standing right in front of it and paying attention to hear it clearly. If you don’t listen for it, you’ll probably miss it. Only Steamboat Willie has a unique soundtrack, but you must listen carefully and filter out the other (good) music and sound to hear it.

There’s a lot of “noise” in the world today, and not all of it is bad. Worthwhile movies and TV shows vie for our attention, as do countless good books. Thanks to Live365, Pandora, Spotify, and other services there is almost no limit to the music you can listen to. Thousands of podcasts on almost every conceivable subject are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and other services.

Technology has brought us a wealth of content that is encouraging, fun, entertaining, educational, and even valuable. But it’s easy to get caught up in the “noise,” and when we do, we miss the sound that’s constantly playing in the background.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:21)

People make time for a favorite TV show (or shows, the average person over age fifteen spends 2.7 hours per day watching TV—that’s nineteen hours per week, or 983 hours per year, almost forty-one days!). We also listen to podcasts, go to movies and parties, read reports or the newspaper, etc. But how much time do we spend listening to God? Reading His Word? Praying? Spending time in natural surroundings and listening to Him speak through His creation?

This is not about “guilting” us into action (or inaction, as the case may be), it’s about helping us to become intentionally aware of our priorities and encouraging us to listen better. God’s voice is always there, but we can miss it through the noise of life, or because what we’re listening for (i.e. the way out of a troubled relationship) is not what He’s saying (“Let Me work in your heart and change you”).

Listen carefully. Filter out the noise—even if it’s “good” noise. His voice is there.

Takeaway: What is one way you can filter out some of the noise in your life and listen for Him?

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 Randy Crane is a highly-regarded speaker and author, presenting engaging and thought-provoking messages on a variety of topics. He has a natural rapport and connection with audiences that makes them relate well to him, engage in his presentations, and come away with a fresh understanding of the subject at hand. Randy is also the host of the “Stories of the Magic” unofficial Disney podcast, where he interviews people from throughout the Disney company, from front-line Cast Members to Legends. Randy grew up in the church, but—like many others—wandered away from the faith for a time in high school. Now, he is an ordained minister, with both a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministry (emphasis in Preaching) and a Master’s degree in Congregational Leadership from Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. He has been preaching and teaching since 1998, and has been a drummer/percussionist on church worship teams since 1992. He married his wonderful wife Faye in November of 2000 and they are expecting their first child in April of 2015. Randy is the author of two books, Once Upon YOUR Time and Faith and the Magic Kingdom.

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Indiana Jones Adventure: Integrity

By Randy Crane

Editor’s Note: Disney Avenue is thrilled to welcome a new contributing writer to the site, the amazing Randy Crane! Many of you in the Disney community may already know Randy from his books and his wonderful podcast Stories of the Magic. Randy has some amazing new articles lined up for us that fuse together life, scripture and, of course, our love of Walt’s park and attractions. So please join me in welcoming Randy Crane to the Disney Avenue family!

-Keith Mahne

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Disneyland is all about story. Every land in the park tells a story. Every attraction tells a story. Some of the stories are obvious. Some are hidden, but still there. Walt Disney was among the best at making movies that tell stories, and Disneyland is the ultimate, immersive, interactive “movie.” The park is one huge narrative. These articles are going to unpack those stories in new ways because like all good narratives, there are lessons, examples, reminders, and warnings throughout. So, starting with the Indiana Jones Adventure we’re going to dig into these tales and see what we can learn from them to take with us outside the park and into our daily lives. Some will be about character. Some will be about faith and spirituality. All will be a new way to look at a familiar place. So let’s start the journey…

When it comes to things Disney does best, right at the top of my list are the themed attractions. From the themed queue (line), to the attraction itself, to the exit––the very best attractions tell a unified story from beginning to end. A great example of this complete theming is the Indiana Jones Adventure.

Imagineers call the queue for an attraction “Act I” of the story. This is where the stage is set and the story begins. The Disneyland Encyclopedia says of this attraction queue, “At over a quarter-mile long, this would be the longest, and most densely detailed, queue in Disneyland history.”

From the moment you cross the entry (under the sign) of the Indiana Jones Adventure and enter the attraction’s environment you are immersed in the story of an ancient temple, recently found by Indiana Jones—who has now disappeared. The overgrown foliage, stuttering generator, odd markings throughout the temple, strange noises, and more all tell the story. There are even some hidden surprises—most of which get completely bypassed now thanks to FastPass. When the ride first opened, Cast Members even handed out decoder cards so guests could decode the “maraglyphs” found throughout.

The ride itself takes you on a wild expedition through the deepest interiors of the temple, encountering fire, snakes, insects, skeletons, and much more. And after the ride, the walk back out of the temple keeps you in the story, including more maraglyphs to decipher. Two movie props contribute to the realism of the exit to the Indiana Jones Adventure: the mine car from Temple of Doom and the truck from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

All facets of this attraction, from the queue through the exit, work together to tell a single story. What you see on the outside is what you find on the inside. The story is consistent. In short, the attraction has integrity.
Dictionary.com defines integrity as:

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished.

Integrity is highlighted as a critical character trait of godly people. The apostle Paul tells Titus, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” (Titus 2:7–8) All the parts work together and give the same message.
Several more biblical passages describe this desirable trait:

“Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for and expect You.” (Psalm 25:11)

“Receive instruction in wise dealing and the discipline of wise thoughtfulness, righteousness, justice, and integrity.” (Proverbs 1:3)

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9)

“And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.” (Romans 5:4 (AMP))

This isn’t a call to perfection—none of us is perfect nor will we be this side of heaven—but that doesn’t let us off the hook when it comes to growing in integrity. Part of integrity is acknowledging that we fall short. Contrary to popular belief, hypocrisy is not making mistakes or falling short, it’s pretending to be someone or something that you know to be not true.
It’s easy to look good on the outside, but how are you on the inside? When people look beneath the surface you present to the world, do they find consistency and honesty? How does your life look from entry to exit? Are your stated values reflected in your daily conduct?

Takeaway: What story are you telling with your life, and do you tell it all the way through?

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Randy Crane is a highly-regarded speaker and author, presenting engaging and thought-provoking messages on a variety of topics. He has a natural rapport and connection with audiences that makes them relate well to him, engage in his presentations, and come away with a fresh understanding of the subject at hand. Randy is also the host of the “Stories of the Magic” unofficial Disney podcast, where he interviews people from throughout the Disney company, from front-line Cast Members to Legends. Randy grew up in the church, but—like many others—wandered away from the faith for a time in high school. Now, he is an ordained minister, with both a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministry (emphasis in Preaching) and a Master’s degree in Congregational Leadership from Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. He has been preaching and teaching since 1998, and has been a drummer/percussionist on church worship teams since 1992. He married his wonderful wife Faye in November of 2000 and they are expecting their first child in April of 2015. Randy is the author of two books, Once Upon YOUR Time and Faith and the Magic Kingdom.

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